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PhD in Education, Leadership in Educational Administration

School of Public Service and Education

The doctoral Leadership in Educational Administration specialization is aligned with nationally recognized leadership standards and is designed to help learners develop and strengthen the knowledge, skills, attributes, and dispositions needed to successfully meet the challenges of an ever-changing educational system as ethical and innovative leaders. The curriculum provides learners the opportunity to pursue concentrations that offer focused exploration of the research, leadership, management, and problem-solving skills the current student achievement-focused P–12 environment requires of its principals. Upon successful completion of this specialization, learners have the knowledge and skills necessary for providing school leadership and are prepared to pursue licensure as P–12 principals in most states.

School Leadership concentration

The School Leadership concentration is intended for learners who want to build their knowledge and skills as school principals who provide vision, guidance, and oversight within a school. The curriculum focuses on the principal’s role in articulating, developing, and implementing a school vision that aligns with and supports district priorities. Learners assess issues associated with procuring and managing school funds; evaluate research-based approaches for supervising and evaluating teachers and managing the school learning environment, school operations, and resources; examine the role of technology in supporting instructional programs and school operations; and apply best practices for communicating and collaborating with school stakeholders.

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Twenty-Three Required Courses

 

 

At least 84 quarter credits

Practicum/Internship Experience Requirement(s):

Minimum of 320 internship hours. See the Practicum/Internship Experience section below for more information.​

Core courses:

ED8000
Advanced Studies in Education: Theory, Practice, and Purpose

Learners in this course focus on critical thinking and scholarly writing—requisite skills for graduate study and professional practice. This course provides opportunities for learners to acquire and practice skills necessary to succeed in online learning. In keeping with Capella University’s focus on the scholar-practitioner model, learners also critically examine and apply relevant educational theory to their practice. Finally, learners articulate and examine their professional purpose and how it aligns with their chosen degree program and professional career aspirations. Must be taken during the learner’s first quarter. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits
RSCH7860
Survey of Research Methods

Learners in this course critically evaluate research in order to gain an understanding of the scientific methods of inquiry and the ethical considerations of research. Learners develop and apply skills needed to become educated consumers and creators of research. Learners also use their research design skills to analyze and apply research methodologies, validity, reliability and other components of scientific research related to their field of interest. Learners may only earn credit for PSY7860 or RSCH7860. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits
RSCH7864
Quantitative Design and Analysis

In this course, learners investigate the fundamental concepts needed to conduct quantitative research. Learners examine and apply quantitative research techniques; appropriate applications of quantitative research; research design, measurement, and analysis, and their associated interdependencies; variable types and levels of measurement; sampling; descriptive and inferential statistics; and hypothesis testing. Learners define the strengths and limitations of descriptive statistics, analyze the quantitative scales of measurement, review the logic of probability and null hypothesis testing, and leverage technology when applicable. Learners also determine the steps necessary to ensure human subjects protection, and consider methodological adaptations when conducting research with vulnerable and diverse populations. Learners may only earn credit for PSY7864 or RSCH7864. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits
RSCH7868
Qualitative Design and Analysis

Learners in this course assess the fundamental concepts needed to conduct qualitative research. Learners practice qualitative research techniques; appropriate applications of qualitative research; the strengths and weaknesses of qualitative research design, sampling, and analysis and their associated interdependencies; and leverage technology when applicable. Learners also determine the steps necessary to ensure human subjects protection, and consider methodological adaptations when conducting research with vulnerable and diverse populations. Learners may only earn credit for PSY7868 or RSCH7868. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits
ED-V8925 *
Doctoral Project Development – Topic Ideation

In this ten-week virtual residency, learners develop and evaluate proposed topic areas and theories for their doctoral project. Learners analyze the literature on potential topics to assess relevance to the discipline and potential methods to use in the doctoral project. Learners gain an understanding of the writing, research, and critical thinking skills necessary to complete the final project. Further development of the doctoral project is determined through a final assessment. This residency includes required synchronous sessions.  For 92-credit PhD in Education learners only. Grading for this course is S/NS. Prerequisite(s): Completion of our concurrent registration in RSCH7860. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer. 

3 quarter credits
ED-V8926 *
Doctoral Project Development – Topic Development

In this ten-week virtual residency, learners apply writing, research, and critical thinking skills by identifying a problem, developing project questions, and finalizing a project topic that is appropriate for the program. Learners use evidence to support the selection of theories, problems, and questions to guide further refinement of their topic. Learners establish an appropriate topic area, preliminary project design, and begin development of a literature review. Further development of the doctoral project is determined through a project topic framework. This residency includes required synchronous sessions.  For 92-credit PhD in Education learners only. Grading for this course is S/NS. Prerequisite(s): ED-V8925, completion of or concurrent registration in RSCH7868. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer. 

3 quarter credits
ED-V8927 *
Doctoral Project Development – Framework Development

In this ten-week virtual residency, learners apply advanced research and writing skills through the development of a detailed project framework based on work in prior residencies. Learners develop a project framework that includes methodological and/or research design, sampling or participant recruitment plan, intervention plan (if applicable), strategies for data collection, analysis, and outcomes of the project. Further development of the doctoral project is determined through an assessment of the project framework, which is finalized once the learner enters the advanced doctoral stage of the program. This residency includes required synchronous sessions.  Learners must complete Track 3 prior to beginning the comprehensive examination phase of the program. For 92-credit PhD in Education learners only. Grading for this course is S/NS. Prerequisite(s): ED-V8926, completion of or concurrent registration in RSCH7864. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

3 quarter credits

Specialization courses:

ED6823 *
Education and the Law

In this course, learners analyze the laws and legal issues affecting P–12 school systems and their constituents and study the tools and methods used to prevent and resolve legal problems. This course requires access to a P–12 classroom and/or educational stakeholders in a P–12 school or district. Prerequisite(s): ED5320 or ED7820. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer or credit for prior learning.

4 quarter credits
ED7014
Leading Diverse Schools

In this course, learners evaluate approaches to creating an inclusive school environment that demonstrates respect and value for diverse staff and student populations. Learners assess communication and collaboration strategies that leverage the strengths of diversity to create an effective learning environment and examine the institutional, political, and legal factors that influence the ways schools address diversity issues. This course requires access to a P–12 classroom and/or educational stakeholders in a P–12 school or district. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits
ED7545 *
Special Education Administration

This course provides an overview of special education administration functions and services. Learners identify the human and material resource responsibilities, activities, and challenges associated with integrating students with disabilities into educational programs. Learners also examine the ethical, legal, and financial roles administrators have to staff, students, and families in administering special education programs and services. This course requires access to a P–12 classroom and/or educational stakeholders in a P–12 school or district. Prerequisite(s): Completion of or concurrent enrollment in ED7820. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits
ED7820
Principles of Educational Administration

This course presents an overview of principles of P–12 education leadership theory and practice aligned with six National Educational Leadership Preparation (NELP) program standards. The course incorporates multimedia, including embedded simulations, to enhance presentation and understanding of concepts and issues in school or district leadership and administration. Learners also examine business and public administration models and explore theoretical constructs from various disciplines. This course requires interaction with practicing school or district administrators and access to a P–12 classroom and/or educational stakeholders in a P–12 school or district. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits

Upon completion of all required coursework: 

EDCN9919 *
Doctoral Comprehensive Examination

This course includes an overview of the comprehensive examination process, the university’s expectations of academic honesty and integrity, the three core themes of the examination, and the evaluation criteria. The courseroom mentor provides three questions addressing the core themes. Learners write answers to the comprehensive examination questions. Answers are evaluated by faculty readers using point-scale scoring rubrics. Upon passing the comprehensive examination, learners are eligible to register for the first dissertation course.  For 92-credit PhD in Education learners only. Learners in the 120-credit PhD in Education program should register for ED9919 instead. Department consent is required for registration. Grading for this course is S/NS. Prerequisite(s): Completion of all required and elective coursework with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better. Completion of practicum courses, if applicable. Completion of external exam requirements, if applicable. Fulfillment of all residency requirements. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

3 quarter credits

Learners must register for EDCN9960 a minimum of four times to fulfill their specialization requirements.

EDCN9960 *
Dissertation Courseroom

This course provides learners with resources, guidance, and peer and mentor support during each dissertation course as they complete the required milestones.  For 92-credit PhD in Education learners only. Learners in the 120-credit PhD in Education program should register for ED9960 instead. Department consent is required for registration. Grading for this course is S/NS. Learners must register for this course a minimum of four times to fulfill their specialization requirements. Prerequisite(s): EDCN9919. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

3 quarter credits each

School Leadership concentration courses:

ED6822 *
The Funding of Educational Institutions

Learners in this course examine a variety of public education funding issues. In particular, learners examine the effect of litigation and politics on present and future funding patterns and school finance reform. Learners also identify the ways politics have affected the allocation of resources at all levels of government. This course requires access to a P–12 classroom and/or educational stakeholders in a P–12 school or district. Prerequisite(s): ED5320 or ED7820. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer or credit for prior learning.

4 quarter credits
ED6852 *
P–12 Principalship

Learners in this course gain an understanding of the responsibilities and issues associated with the role of the 21st-century P–12 principal. Topics include effective P–12 school leadership and management, curriculum and instruction planning and assessment, and collaboration with stakeholders. This course requires access to a P–12 classroom and/or educational stakeholders in a P–12 school or district. Prerequisite(s): ED7820 and ED7014, or ED5320. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer or credit for prior learning.

4 quarter credits
ED7016 *
Technology Integration in Schools

This course addresses the principal’s role in integrating technology in schools to improve the effectiveness of instructional programs and school operations. Learners assess strategies for supporting school administrators, teachers, staff, and students in appropriately leveraging technology to maximize learning. Learners also explore the ways they can use technology to support their own work as leaders. This course requires access to a P–12 classroom and/or educational stakeholders in a P–12 school or district. Prerequisite(s): ED7820. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits
ED7541 *
Teacher Supervision and Evaluation

Learners assess current theories and best practices of teacher supervision and evaluation. Learners investigate instructional leadership and professional development as part of a systemic plan to improve student learning. This course requires access to a P–12 classroom and/or educational stakeholders in a P–12 school or district. Prerequisite(s): ED7820. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits
ED7901 *
Educational Administration Internship 1

This course is the first of two consecutive principal internship courses that serve as the capstone courses for the PhD Leadership in Educational Administration School Leadership concentration. It provides learners with the academic and internship experiences that are prerequisites for principal or administrative licensure in most states. Learners assess their leadership in educational administration competencies and demonstrate proficiency. They serve the first 160 hours of a 320-hour internship during which they create, sign, and fulfill a competency-based contract with their educational administration site supervisor and Capella University supervisor. Throughout the course, learners maintain a log of their experiences and develop a final portfolio as part of their contract materials. For PhD Leadership in Educational Administration learners only. Grading for this course is S/NS. This course requires access to a P–12 classroom and/or educational stakeholders in a P–12 school or district. ED7901, ED7902 must be taken in sequence and prior to the comprehensive examination. Prerequisite(s): A cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better and the completion, submission, and approval of an internship application. Please refer to practicum and internship Campus resource pages for information regarding application due dates and site and supervisor guidelines. ED6822, ED6823, ED6852, ED7014, ED7016, ED7541, ED7545, ED7820, ED8322. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits
ED7902 *
Educational Administration Internship 2

This course is the second of two consecutive principal internship courses that serve as the capstone courses for the PhD Leadership in Educational Administration School Leadership concentration. It provides learners with the academic and internship experiences that are prerequisites for principal or administrative licensure in most states. Learners assess their leadership in educational administration competencies and demonstrate proficiency. They serve the second 160 hours of a 320- hour internship during which they create, sign, and fulfill a competency-based contract with their educational administration site supervisor and Capella University supervisor. Throughout the course, learners maintain a log of their experiences and develop a final portfolio as part of their contract materials. For PhD Leadership in Educational Administration learners only. Grading for this course is S/NS. This course requires access to a P–12 classroom and/or educational stakeholders in a P–12 school or district. ED7901 and ED7902 must be taken in sequence and prior to the comprehensive examination. Prerequisite(s): ED7901. Please refer to practicum and internship Campus resource pages for information regarding application due dates and site and supervisor guidelines. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits
ED8322 *
School Improvement for P–12 School Leaders

This course is an overview of the school leader’s role in supporting school improvement. Learners examine specific strategies and processes to assess a school’s current state and needs, followed by strategic data collection, disaggregation of formative and summative data, and examination of school improvement plans. Learners also explore the continuous process of viable school improvement through climate surveys, research-based instruction, and enhanced teacher capacity, which leads to improved school climate, curriculum, instruction, and, ultimately, student outcomes. Finally, learners interact with practicing school administrators to gain insight into the field of school leadership. Prerequisite(s): ED7820, EDD8000. May be taken concurrently with ED6823. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits

 

 

Two Elective Courses

 

 

At least 8 quarter credits

Recommended elective course: 

ED6857 *
Personnel Administration

Learners in this course study school policy making, staffing assignment, salary negotiation, grievance procedures, records, supervision, and the evaluation of professional and nonprofessional employees. This course requires access to a P–12 classroom and/or educational stakeholders in a P–12 school or district. Prerequisite(s): ED5320. Cannot be fulfilled by credit for prior learning.

4 quarter credits

 

OR

Choose any graduate course(s).

 

 

Total

 

 

At least 92 quarter credits

* Denotes courses that have prerequisite(s). Refer to the descriptions for further details.

Learners who do not complete all program requirements within quarter credit/program point minimums will be required to accrue such additional quarter credits/program points as are associated with any additional or repeat coursework necessary for successful completion of program requirements.

Practicum/Internship Experience 

Learners enrolled in the PhD in Education, Leadership in Educational Administration degree program complete a 320-hour supervised on-site internship experience as a requirement of their program. Throughout the experience, learners maintain a log of their experiences and develop a final portfolio as part of their contract materials.

The internship experiences consist of the following online courses and supervised site-based learning: Learners in the School Leadership concentration complete two consecutive principal internship courses (ED7901 and ED7902) that serve as the capstone courses for the PhD Leadership in Educational Administration School Leadership concentration. It provides learners with the academic and internship experiences that are prerequisites for principal or administrative licensure in most states.

Learners may register for a third internship course (ED7905) should they need additional time or need to meet additional requirements for state licensure.

Practicum and/or Internship hours are considered complete once all program required practicum/internships hours have been successfully achieved. Partial completion of practicum/internship requirements/hours can't be verified for licensure or transfer of hours.

Learners in the School Leadership concentration are required to take the Praxis II Series Educational Leadership: Administration and Supervision test (ELAS 5411 or 5412) prior to being enrolled in the comprehensive exam. To be recommended for licensure learners must pass the Praxis II Series Educational Leadership: Administration and Supervision test (ELAS 5411 or 5412) with a score of 145. Learners must identify Capella University as a recipient to ensure the score report is sent to the university. Learners under an earlier catalog, who are required to take the School Leaders Licensure Assessment (SLLA), may take the Praxis II Series Educational Leadership: Administration and Supervision as a substitute for the SLLA. Learners are responsible for any costs associated with this assessment.

In addition, the Georgia Professional Standards Commission requires Georgia learners in the School Leadership concentration to take the Georgia Assessment of the Certification of Educators (Educational Leadership test) to be recommended for licensure. Learners must be enrolled in the internship (ED7901 or ED7902) before they are granted eligibility to complete the assessment. The Georgia Professional Standards Commission also requires Georgia learners, who are still enrolled in a performance-based educational leadership program on or after July 1, 2016, to attempt the Program Exit (Test 380) prior to program completion and pass the exam for certification in the field of educational leadership. Learners are responsible for any costs associated with this assessment.

Capella University cannot guarantee eligibility for licensure, endorsement, other professional credential, or salary advancement. State licensing regulations and professional standards vary; learners are responsible for understanding and complying with the requirements of the state in which they intend to work. For more information, see the professional licensure disclosures for this program on Capella’s website. Contact your school district for a determination on qualifications for salary advancement.

The Arizona Department of Education has approved the School Leadership concentration for principal preparation.

Learners seeking certification in Arizona must secure a Structured English Immersion endorsement (SEI) and specific coursework in the U.S. and Arizona constitution. Both are available online through many Arizona universities. For more information, see the Licensure section for this program on Capella’s website ( www.capella.edu ).

Applicants seeking Georgia Performance-Based Leadership certification are not eligible to enroll in this specialization.

The Minnesota Board of School Administrators has approved the School Leadership concentration for principal preparation.

In Minnesota, learners pursuing an endorsement to an existing administrative license must complete additional internship hours. To add a K-12 endorsement to an elementary or secondary license, learners must complete an additional 200-hour internship. To add a principal endorsement to a superintendent endorsement (or vice versa), learners must complete an additional 320-hour internship. For more information, see the Licensure section for this program on Capella’s website ( www.capella.edu ).

Arkansas residents are not eligible to enroll in this specialization.